Exercise One (10 min)
Imagine a place. Begin by describing that place. It's spring time.
"The water's a lot higher than it was."
"It's pretty good. If we just reinforce the path over the rocks we'll probably fill in some of those holes."
"Sounds like a plan. Let's do it!"
The two boys surveyed their accomplishments. Over the past few months the bubbling creak behind John's house had slowly grown into a small pond. Hundreds of hand placed stones held back what had to now be thousands of gallons of cool spring melt-water from the Appalachian mountains a few miles away. The tiny dam looked almost natural. Broken sticks and fallen leaves had begun to pile up behind the foundation and the whole system almost blended into the surroundings.
"I wonder if this is how lakes start out," The smaller boy shouted from somewhere off in the woods.
"We're like real life beavers," the other boy responded with a giant smile.
Both boys were overcome with pride at their control over nature. "We're men," they both thought to themselves simultaneously.
Exercise Two (20 min)
The character is able to have dinner with anyone, real or fake, that is not alive. Begin with the idea that you are having dinner with a dead person.
"Hi, I have reservations for two."
"Uhh... Jeff. Um ... I mean, Wilson ... uh ..."
I couldn't get the words out. I felt stupid. This place doesn't even have tables. I appreciate the effort but an hour long drive to the middle of nowhere is a bit aggressive for a prank. I'm gonna be pissed at Andrea when I get home. Maybe she'll be in here somewhere. Hmm ... Maybe she'll be wearing something sexy. That would sure turn things around. Man, this place is creepy. I feel kinda sick. Why am I aroused?
Jeff laughed out loud at the host as all these thoughts came and went in a moment ... before he finally got the words out.
"The reservation's probably under Hitler."
"Ah yes. Two for 8pm. Mr. Hitler has already arrived and is enjoying a cocktail at the bar."
The host, an awkwardly striking young man in thick black glasses with a clean cut face and sharp jawline, motioned towards the small door labeled private parties. Andrew followed him through to the other side.
Jeff instantly felt uncomfortable. This restaurant looked modern from the outside, but the Private Party room was rich with antiquity. Gas lamps threw dim lighting around the room and across an abyss of wing-chairs and small smoking tables, Jeff could barely make out the outline of two people at what must be a bar.
"Tuesday's aren't so busy." Jeff said awkwardly ... immediately realizing that was an insult. He physically stumbled on a small Persian rug as he struggled to undo his faux pas with an equally awkward compliment. "I mean, this place is great inside. I'm surprised it's not more crowded."
"Mr. Hitler, your guest has arrived."
"Wonderful. You must be Jeff." Adolf grinned warmly as he reached out to shake Jeff's hand. Jeff laughed out loud again.
Exercise Three (20 min)
A person struggling or thriving with specified symptoms ... I didn't record them, but I think they involved profuse sweating, the unrelenting scent of flowers, a skin rash, and an overwhelming desire for a one night stand.
My ass slipped right off the stool and I fell to the ground. Fuck me, I thought.
"Are you ok, miss?"
"Yes." I growled. It was the third time today that my own sweat had caused me to fall down in public.
The second was while I was reaching feverishly for the leftover appetizers on the bar top table to my left. I was trying to be discreet but my grip gave out on the table top and my face clipped the foot rest of the chair underneath. I got up.
The first time was this morning when our cute mailman was complimenting me on the delightful fragrance of fermented lilac that he didn't realize was emanating from the pit stains I wasn't so elegantly hiding with two stiff arms at my sides. I stood flirting for too long. Sweat flowed down my leg and pooled on the hard granite of my stoop. I slipped and went down as soon as conversation dried up.
Now I'm on the ground again. I've fallen three times in one day. No... I've eaten shit, three times in one day. At least I'm drunk now. I might as well enjoy it down here for a moment. My eye catches a tater tot in the shadow of the bar's overhang. How long must that have been sitting there? I cannot believe the thought of putting it in my mouth is loose in my head.
I catch myself scratching again. God damn it. This fucking rash drives me wild. My skin is crawling with little teensy jasmine heads, each one breaking open with just a few passes of my nail ... leaving a dry damp streak of flaky skin and pus.
I'm drunk, I'm sitting on the floor, and I'm thinking about eating trash. My own sweat has begun to pool again. No one's going to want to take me home tonight.